Construction estimators are a vital part of the preconstruction process, yet this role is not as well-known as other positions in the construction industry. The costs of materials can significantly impact building construction projects. Especially in recent years, with prices fluctuating and rising more rapidly than ever, the construction estimator position has become even more critical. Although identifying material costs and estimating project budgets may sound straightforward, construction estimating is detail-oriented, time-intensive, and requires high-level skill from estimators. This is why even entry-level estimator salaries can be high paying.

Do You Have the Right Skills for The Estimator Job?

Outside of mathematical and analytical skills, construction estimators also need strong communication skills, In addition, you should ask yourself:

  • Could you review plans and specifications to determine material and labor requirements accurately?
  • Can you make accurate valuations in your estimates for potential mistakes, breakage, and weather conditions?
  • Do you have experience in the construction industry?

Estimators need to ask thoughtful questions as they examine technical documents to ensure no important details are missed. Estimators often work with material and equipment vendors, contractors, and labor unions to determine material prices and labor rates. And lastly, construction estimators need to be able to present their finished estimate in detail to several parties.

Estimator Salary Ranges Depending on Your Experience 

Estimator salaries can range depending on if you are just entering the field or if you have some years of experience under your belt. Entry-level estimator salary ranges from below $6ok to above $80k, depending on your experience and location. Once you gain some years of experience as an estimator and improve your leadership skills, this number can quickly increase.

It is critical to be informed about salaries across the country and the salary that candidates are looking to achieve. Estimator salaries vary depending on the geographic location and other factors. Below is a closer look at estimator salary ranges and how firms can remain competitive.

Junior Estimator Salary Ranges

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $62.62 $82.19 $72.53 $70.38
Mid-Atlantic $63.42 $77.92 $70.04 $69.71
Northeast $64.31 $85.56 $75.11 $68.93
Northwest $63.42 $74.77 $71.62 $70.62
Southeast $64.88 $74.88 $71.96 $68.60
Southwest $65.89 $83.65 $75.55 $74.77

*salaries do not reflect bonuses
**Percentile multiplied by $1000 reflects annual salary

Junior Estimator is an entry level Estimating position, which requires either a BS or MS degree in estimating. They work under close supervision of a Senior Estimator, performing general/routine estimating duties.

Estimator I Salary Ranges

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $76.46 $99.86 $90.19 $90.19
Mid-Atlantic $80.18 $108.16 $93.78 $88.61
Northeast $77.02 $160.91 $100.74 $96.59
Northwest $79.72 $100.30 $92.65 $89.61
Southeast $79.84 $101.30 $91.19 $90.52
Southwest $79.84 $101.43 $89.85 $89.72

*salaries do not reflect bonuses
**Percentile multiplied by $1000 reflects annual salary

Estimator I requires a minimum of 2 years’ experience. Job responsibilities are similar to that of Junior Estimator, however, they typically have developed at least one area of specialty that allows them to add additional value to the project at hand. They work under close supervision of a Senior Estimator, performing routine estimating job duties.

Estimator II Salary Ranges

Region 20th Percentile 80th Percentile Mean Median
Midwest $96.59 $129.31 $113.91 $113.34
Mid-Atlantic $95.57 $130.99 $114.12 $109.07
Northeast $108.06 $159.67 $134.70 $126.39
Northwest $116.04 $148.42 $133.02 $124.02
Southeast $97.49 $134.92 $116.60 $112.89
Southwest $99.52 $132.00 $118.74 $113.68

*salaries do not reflect bonuses
**Percentile multiplied by $1000 reflects annual salary

Estimator II requires a minimum of 4 years’ experience. Job responsibilities are similar to that of an Estimator I, however, an estimator is able to work with an increased level of responsibility and independence—and possibility has more than one level of specialty. They work under the close supervision of a Senior Estimator, performing routine estimating duties—but may be tasked with managing Junior Estimators.

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This is an exciting time in the world of construction. With this rapid turnaround over the past few years, many construction general contractors are being forced to reevaluate their construction salaries to stay competitive. We have compiled data from 4600+ individual construction management interviews performed by our staff.

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